Dazed and confused

I’m a member of The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing and as part of my membership I receive the Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice. 

The Scream (painting)

Don’t be intimated by articles written by marketing ‘experts’. The most important thing is getting results for your clients.

Now, I don’t know if you’re a member of, or have ever been part of, one of the professional organisations – but if you are, you’ll know that these things can be quite dense and academic.

In all honesty, I find reading the journal a bit like wading through treacle.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not bashing the thing; it is what it is.

But flipping through a recent issue, something occurred to me: we humans don’t half overcomplicate things.

Here’s a sample of a few articles in this particular issue:

  • The e-Marketing SIG (beta) manifesto – Aligning research with practice in digital marketing
  • Imputing unknown competitor marketing activity with a Hidden Markov Chain
  • Data smart: Using data science to transform information into insight
  • Mapping customer journeys in multichannel decision-making

I’ll confess: I don’t really understand this stuff. There’s big data, small data, eWOM, competitor marketing, digital customer experience strategies… and a ton more.

By the way, you won’t find many ‘experts’ admitting they don’t know or understand something that’s supposedly in their field. But I’m honest like that.

I find myself getting overwhelmed when I read some of these articles because I think to myself, “Goodness. There’s all this stuff out there, and people are talking about it, and my clients will expect me to grok it.”


My clients expect me to get results for them.

It’ll be the same in your field. It might well be vital for you to read and understand the academic stuff – particularly in the medical, financial or legal fields – but the fact remains that the most important thing will be results for your clients, customers or patients.

My suggestion to you, if you don’t need to really get into the academic side of things, is to do what I do: keep your ear to the ground, read the articles and studies that add genuine value to your services, skim the rest, and keep them around in case they come in useful.

The thing is, all this stuff is important, I’m sure. Particularly the stuff about big data, legalities and moralities, and customer journeys. But I don’t live in the world of academia and theories. And nor do you.

We live in the real world of business, where if you don’t get results, you crash and burn.

In my book Business For Superheroes I only deal with the real world. Sure, I look at the stuff going on around us and use it when it’ll help – but I concentrate on putting resources into the stuff that’s most likely to produce results.

Putting effort into practical things that will pay off.

So if you’re looking for a very affordable – but really powerful – way to take your business to the next level, you should buy yourself a copy today.



Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.

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